Q&A - The GLP Designated Driver and Passenger Rules

Q&A ImageCan someone with their N have more than one friend in the car if they are the designated driver?

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Answer

New drivers who are part of the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) are subject to passenger limitations as set out in the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations:

30.06 (2)  A person to whom a Class 7L licence is issued must not carry more than one passenger, other than the accompanying person under subsection (1), while operating a motor vehicle of a category designated in section 30.01 (2) for that class of driver's licence.

30.06 (8)  A person to whom a Class 6L or 8L licence is issued must not carry passengers while operating a motorcycle.

30.071 (1)  Subject to subsection (2), a person to whom a Class 7 licence is issued on or after October 6, 2003 must not carry more than one passenger while operating a motor vehicle of a category designated in section 30.01 (2) for that class of driver's licence unless the person is accompanied by another person who

(a) is at least 25 years of age or is a licensed driver training instructor engaged in providing practical driver training to the person in accordance with Division 27,

(b) holds a valid and subsisting driver's licence, other than a learner's licence or a Class 7 licence, of a class that permits him or her to operate a motor vehicle of that category, and

(c) occupies

(i)  the seat beside the operator, or

(ii)  the seat or area immediately behind and to the right of the operator, in the case of a motor vehicle of the category designated for the class of licence issued in which there is no seat beside the operator.

(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a passenger who is an immediate family member of the person.

30.12 (1)  A Class 6 or 8 licence is subject to the following licence restrictions:

(a) if the person to whom the licence is issued qualified for the licence using a motorcycle with an engine displacement of 200 cc or less, other than a motor scooter, the person must not carry passengers while operating a motorcycle;

(b) if the person qualified for the licence using a motor scooter, the person must not operate any other kind of motorcycle except a limited speed motorcycle;

(c) if the person qualified for the licence using a limited speed motorcycle, the person must not operate any other kind of motorcycle.

(2)  Despite subsection (1) the person holding a licence on which a restriction under that subsection is imposed may apply to have the restriction removed from his or her licence by undertaking and successfully completing the appropriate fitness and ability tests under section 25 (3) of the Act for the other kinds of motorcycles that the person wishes to operate.

In summary, a learner driver may not carry any passengers when riding a motorcycle. They may carry one passenger aside from their instructor in any other type of vehicle. There are no other exemptions to the learner passenger rules.

A novice driver may carry one passenger on a motorcycle of 200 cc or less or a limited speed motorcycle if they have had the passenger restriction removed after testing. If they qualified on a motorcycle of larger displacement they may carry one passenger immediately. They may carry one passenger in any other type of vehicle. If there is an adult that is a licensed driving instructor or aged 25 or older in the instructor's seat they may carry multiple passengers. They may also carry multiple passengers if the passengers are family members. Family members are defined as:

a spouse, parent, grandparent, child, sibling, step-parent, step-grandparent, step-child, step-brother, step-sister, foster parent, foster grandparent, foster child, foster brother or foster sister

There are no other exemptions to the novice passenger rules.

While it shows responsibility to be the designated driver, there is no legal exemption to disobey the passenger restrictions in order to take inebriated friends home. In fact, the passenger rules were created specifically to prevent doing things like this. The idea is that the extra passengers present the possibility of distracting the inexperienced driver and causing a crash. The possibility probably increases with alcohol use when compared to sober friends.

The friends need to be responsible as well. It is not fair to put their GLP designated driver friend in this position.